NBA scout still believes Kevin Durant will be traded to the Phoenix Suns

Phoenix Suns, Devin Booker. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
Phoenix Suns, Devin Booker. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports /

Kevin Durant may have re-committed to the Brooklyn Nets last week, but that hasn’t stopped the question of where he’ll be playing in the longer term. With plenty still to play out as the Nets try to recover from an awkward situation, perhaps the idea of the two-time MVP playing for the Phoenix Suns shouldn’t be parked after all.

One NBA scout believes Kevin Durant will be on the Phoenix Suns within six months, although most believe he’ll remain with the Brooklyn Nets across the foreseeable future.

ESPN have undertaken a survey of 15 NBA coaches, scouts and executives, with the panel responding to some of the most poignant questions heading into the 2022-23 season.

One of these was the matter of where Durant will be post the trade deadline, with that timeline set to end within six months in February. An overwhelming majority believe Durant will remain with the Nets – 13 of the panel members think the Nets will find a way to make it work at least for this season.

Steve Nash and Kevin Durant (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)
Steve Nash and Kevin Durant (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images) /

However, two members believe that the 33-year-old will be on a different team, with the Suns and Boston Celtics each given as a response. This has everything to do with Deandre Ayton according to an Eastern Conference scout.

"“I just don’t think teams are going to pay what the Nets are asking until Deandre Ayton can be moved, and then once he can, I think Phoenix is the team that had the most interest and the best pathway to get [Durant].”"

After Durant had nominated Phoenix as a preferred destination, the team’s ability to acquire him was shelved after matching the Indiana Pacers four-year, $133 million contract for Ayton. As a result, the Suns big man can’t be traded to another team until January 15.

So, the Suns can run it back till then and then re-negotiate with the Nets right? Not exactly. Ayton also has veto power on any trade until next offseason – exactly one year since signing the contract. Phoenix can usher Ayton to Brooklyn all they want, but he doesn’t have to budge if he doesn’t want to.

Next. Phoenix Suns’ Anthony Davis link a genuine lose-lose situation. dark

That does complicate matters, potentially proving a sticking point if talks did re-emerge early next year. For that reason alone, the Celtics may still hold higher favouritism for Durant if he were to be eventually moved.